One of the first cities I rode through was Vukovar, and I immediately came upon the water tower. It was heavily damaged in a battle in the early 90s, in which ~2000 people were killed. It’s been preserved as a memorial (a very grim one) of this battle. There were a few other large structures I noticed with very heavy damage, along with many buildings that were still riddled with bullet holes. On my first day, I also visited two WWII memorials. The first was the Monument to the Revolution of the people of Moslavina, built in 1967 to honor the people of Moslavina that fought in WWII. The second was the Stone Flower, in memory of the victims of the Jasenovac Concentration Camp. This was the only concentration camp that wasn’t run by the Germans, and was also one of the largest across Europe. It was started by the Ustaše in 1941, and the primary victims were Serbs. It’s estimated that 80-100,000 people were killed at this camp.
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241 Kms from Vukovar
During my student exchange in France, I hung out with quite a few Hungarians and one thing was for sure – Hungarians knew how to have fun! And why wouldn’t they ? With a country that offered cheap food and drinks (I paid lesser for a fancy brunch in Budapest than in India!), had a unique nightlife and known for its spa culture, it would be really hard not to be fun-loving.And this fun and beautiful place set the tone for our 18 day Central Europe trip. Here is my 2.5 day Budapest Itinerary followed by some travel and stay tips. Happy reading ????
338 Kms from Vukovar
348 Kms from Vukovar
-Missing trains (Lost the count)
259 Kms from Vukovar
Crossing into Bosnia and Herzegovina the next day brought on a drastic change. Mosques started showing up in villages instead of just churches, cars from the 90s were traded for cars from the 70s, houses were far more utilitarian…but there were still plenty of stray dogs. I arrived in Mostar (unofficial capital of Herzegovina) and had plenty of the day left to see a bit of the city. In 1992, the Serbian Orthodox church (in eastern Mostar) was destroyed. Today, they are just now starting to rebuild the church.The ruins of the original church are still at the site. They were able to retrieve the church bells from the rubble, which will be used again in the new church.
253 Kms from Vukovar
After shivering in the snow for a few hours, I gave up on couch surfing and went to find a hostel. Quick Google search + Google Maps, and twenty minutes later I was in front of Hostel Costel. THANKFULLY they had room, and the hostel was nice and non creepy (that’s not something I can say about the hostels I stayed at in Rome. Shudder!!!).